Nel's New Day

August 7, 2017

DDT’s 200 Days of Disaster

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 9:01 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Two-hundred days ago, Republicans talked about how they would pass bills on infrastructure, tax reform, and healthcare repeal. They didn’t. The man who lives in a dump (his words for the White House) when he can’t escape to some place nicer is now spending his 200th day in office at his Bedminster (NY) resort. Much has been written about his first 200 days while he has focused on seven topics: President Obama, Hillary Clinton, fake news, Russia, loyalty, his election win, and his crowd size.

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) may spend most of his tweets on these topics because he has no major accomplishments. The news has concentrated on DDT’s staff departures, leaks, religious and racial bigotry, gaffes, personal attacks on people, blame for Republicans, and the possible GOP presidential candidates in 2020. He crows about the 1.07 million jobs created during his first six months. Yet this number is the weakest in five years during the same period of time: 2016 – 1.24 million jobs; 2015 – 1.37 million jobs; 2014 – 1.51 million jobs; and 2013 – 1.17 million jobs.

Exactly what has DDT accomplished with his GOP Congress? He got himself a Supreme Court justice farther right than anyone else on the court after Republican senators refused to talk to a nominee from President Obama for almost a year. He overturned 15 of President Obama’s regulations, some of them to keep people healthy, among the 44 bills he signed into law. Five others were bureaucratic tweaks, and 14 were ceremonial or routine. One encouraged people to fly flags on Veterans’ Day. The first law he signed allowed him to have James Mattis as defense secretary, and one of the last ones diminished his ability to change sanctions on Russia.

Among his 42 executive orders, several have ended up in court with some overturned. DDT claims the rising DOW charts as a victory, but, like the other economic improvements, the increase has an eight-year trajectory upward from President Obama’s two terms. At the same time, the GDP, based on the first two quarters, looks mediocre for the year.

DDT supporters have talked about how horrible the press is toward their beloved, but the media only reports the news. The Newsweek article this week by Alexander Nazaryan, accompanied by a cover that DDT will probably not post at his resorts, is an example of news that will offend DDT supporters. Nazaryan begins with DDT’s tweets about President Obama six years ago this week when he criticized the president for playing golf and going on vacation. DDT had already insisted that President Obama was born a Muslim outside the United States. Since that time the economy vastly improved, and tens of millions of people became insured, but he said that the U.S. is going “down the drain.”

Inaugurated 200 days ago, DDT has made personal profits by going to his own properties at least 64 days of his first 200, has played golf at least 40 times during the same time, is in the midst of a 17-day vacation that he tries to excuse as “working” while he make more profits for his place in Bedminster (NJ). He has been little involved in congressional work, concentrating on insults to Republicans through tweets and a few meetings with them. With only one solo press conference in 200 days, DDT has gone west of the Mississippi only once—a campaign rally in Iowa. He has gone to neither Iraq nor Afghanistan. DDT has had time to tweet at least 1,182 times: “accusations of Obama ‘tapping’ Trump Tower, juvenile taunts hurled at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, warmed-over insinuations about the Clintons cribbed from Fox News, complaints about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, complaints about ‘the Republicans’ and endless laments about ‘fake news,’ many of them followed by assertions that are comically untrue.”

After DDT’s election, people hoped for the promised $1 trillion infrastructure plan but got only the failed Muslim ban and Trumpcare that moved into the white supremacist “merit-based” immigration cutback that even DDT couldn’t pass. He promised to “drain the swamp” but instead stocked it with officials focused on destroying whatever agency they are in. DDT’s sole goal is to eradicate whatever President Obama built, except for the economy which DDT then takes credit for.

Scowls, monotone voice—these show a person who wants only to get out the job. DDT’s only happy times are the cheers that he gets from his campaign rallies. His mistakes and secrecy have led to bloodhound Robert Mueller looking into every piece of his and his family’s life, including their financial affairs which may make corruption transparent. He watches about five hours of television a day, and the “president’s” schedule from the White House shows that Mike Pence is working far harder than DDT. “I thought it would be easier,” DDT said about his current job. “I loved my previous life.”

As DDT brags about “absolutely tremendous economic progress,” he’s riding on his predecessor’s coattails, a president who brought the country out of a recession with 7.8 percent unemployment rate. He brags about reducing the number of undocumented immigrants, but President Obama dropped the number to a 44-percent low. DDT’s success has been in keeping tourists from coming to the United States and bringing their money.

Everything that DDT does is for his personal benefit. Nazaryan wrote, “Trump has made it clear that he sees the White House as little more than a branch office of his marketing business, the Trump Organization.” He chooses to learn nothing about government, history, and culture, and he has been a failure at “the art of making deals.” Instead of diplomacy, he threatens people and loses. He insists that people praise him and seeks admiration everywhere, even from the White House Interns (right). So desperate for worship, he praises himself—the best speeches, the biggest crowds, the most bills signed, etc.

Mark Shields said on PBS Hour:

“Everybody, I can honestly say, with rare exception, who has been associated with this administration and this president has been diminished by it. Their reputation has been tarnished. They’re smaller people as a result of it.”

DDT incessantly lies while he tries to hide everything about the government and his personal affairs, including his massive conflicts of interests. His incompetence leads to havoc which results in incessant whining. He takes credit for anything positive and blames everyone else for problems and failures. Michael Winship wrote that DDT’s maneuvers resemble those of “a crime boss when cornered by his own lies.”

People waiting to see a change in DDT and “give him a chance” are seeing more bizarre behavior. By now they realize that he wanted the “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act for the sole purpose of getting a win at the cost of millions of lives. He will use anyone as a scapegoat from Republican senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska to thousands of transgender military members. The impulsive bully continues to worsen. Hiring John Kelly for the Chief of Staff gave gullible watchers hope, but this morning’s tweets show that DDT needs a 24-hour keeper who stops him from watching television and pressing the keys on his cellphone. No one will do that, and DDT won’t allow them.

DDT’s “deals” are bad for the United States. His secretary of state is either hiding or begging North Korea not to fire missiles, his attorney general is “beleaguered,” and the secretary of energy tries to convince people that greater quantity encourages more buying. In DDT’s meeting with Vladimir Putin, Russia gets what it wants in Syria, and Congress has to take over to increase sanctions. Saudi Arabia persuaded the U.S. to support its blockade of Qatar, a U.S. ally where 11,000 U.S. military members are on a military based used to attack ISIS. Every country in the world knows that DDT’s succumbs to personal flattery.

The polls for DDT are the lowest for any president during the past 70 years at this time, and three-fourths of people can’t believe all or most of what he says. Only 33 percent approve of DDT, down seven points since June. The right-wing Rasmussen poll puts him at 38 percent approval.

Sixty-three million people in the United States gave the rest of us this disaster.

November 7, 2015

Will Computer Hackers Determine Elections?

“Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.” It’s an old saying that might be true in Ohio during the most recent election. A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana miserably failed with a tally of almost two-to-one. I assumed that many of the no votes came from people who disagreed with the part of the amendment that would give sales control to just t, essentially a monopoly. According to Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, the vote may have a much darker reason. Their article, published in the Columbus Free Press, claims that “televised screen shots taken Tuesday night of live election returns in Ohio provided by the Secretary of State’s office showed hundreds of thousands of votes flipping from the “yes” to “no” column of Issue 3, the ballot measure to legalize marijuana.”

Secretary of State Jon Husted, the man who provided the election returns, was “vehemently opposed” to the measure, Issue 3, and “threatened its proponents with legal action.” Live television showed the flips of hundreds of thousands of votes going from yes to no in just minutes. The shot on the right was taken just 11 minutes after the one on the right although the number of reporting precincts increased by only 6 percent. The first screenshot, with 39 percent of precincs reporting, showed the measure ahead by 65 to 35 percent.

television shot 1

television shot 2

 

Ohio has a history of voting problems.

 

Over a decade ago, James Q. Jacobs published a lengthy article about the “voter irregularities and anomalies” that may have caused John Kerry to lose Ohio—and the presidency of the United States. He claims that an analysis of Cuyahoga County votes shows that Kerry votes were changed to George W. Bush votes. In a study of 166,953 votes, one of every 34 Ohio voters, the Kerry-Bush margin shifted six percent through punch card cross-voting. Jacobs said, “Seven-eighths of voters in heavily-Democratic Cuyahoga County, more than one of every eight Ohio Kerry voters, could have cross-voted at an adjacent precinct using the wrong ballot order.” By Ohio statutory requirement, candidate names rotate to the top of the ballot list an equal number of times. If ballots cast for one precinct are counted with a different precinct’s ballot order, the votes can be reversed or assigned to a third-party candidates, a situation that had an unusually high incidence in several Cuyahoga County precincts.

An investigation by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that “some of [the] concerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes.”

The CEO of one of the most crucial suppliers of electronic voting machines, Warren O’Dell of Diebold, pledged before the 2004 campaign to deliver Ohio and thus the presidency to George W. Bush. In 2004, Bush’s margin of victory was only 118,775 out of 5.6 million votes, 800,000 of them cast on electronic voting machines.

Other GAO conclusions:

Some electronic voting machines “did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected,” meaning than an entire vote count can be slipped.

“It was possible to alter the files that define how a ballot looks and works so that the votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate.”

“Vendors installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level,” leaving the opportunity to use altered memory cards.

The GAO also confirms that access to the voting network was easily compromised because not all digital recording electronic voting systems (DREs) had supervisory functions password-protected. Access to one machine provided access to the whole network allowing a small group of people to change large numbers of votes.

Access to the voting network was also compromised by repeated use of the same user IDs combined with easily guessed passwords.

The locks protecting access to the system were easily picked and keys were simple to copy, meaning, again, getting into the system was an easy matter.

One DRE model was shown to have been networked in such a rudimentary fashion that a power failure on one machine would cause the entire network to fail.

A voting machine in Mahoning County recorded a negative 25 million votes for Kerry. Election officials in that county also agreed that voters reporting at least 18 machines visibly transferred votes for Kerry to Bush. Franklin County voters experienced the same problem, and dozens of voters swore that their vote for Kerry disappeared without a paper trail. Kerry’s margins were very low in both counties compared to exit polls. In Gahanna Ward 1B, recording 638 people voting, Bush had almost 4,000 extra votes. On 1:43 am after Election Day, Miami County reported an additional 19,000 votes after the central tabulator had reported 100 percent of the vote; 13,000 of the votes were for Bush. Shelby and  other counties admitted that they discarded key records and equipment before any recount could take place.

In 2007, Lawrence County officials reported votes going to the wrong candidates. At the end of an election that year, a tally printed and posted on the door of the county precinct got numbers one way, but a tabulation machine at the county’s headquarters flipped the numbers, exchanging the number of votes for two candidates. E-voting machines were made by Election Systems & Software. Lawrence County Election Director Catherine Overbeck didn’t say how they determined which tabulations were correct.

Furious with President Obama’s 2008 win, Karl Rove promised to deliver Ohio for Mitt Romney in 2012. Fox network called the Ohio vote for President Obama soon after 11:00 pm, but Rove told them to wait. He claimed a shift to the right immediately after 11:00 am as it had in 2004. That’s when the GOP secretary of state, Ken Blackwell, called SMARTech to fix the computers that had just gone down, and they rerouted he vote through its company in Chattanooga. Kerry’s lead reversed by over 6 percent. SMARTech’s top client was the Bush-Cheney campaign, and the company worked for Jeb Bush and the Republican National Committee. Journalist Craig Unger gives the details in his book, Boss Rove.

In 2012, Rove predicted the same reversal from the same counties that had flipped right in 2004. It never happened, and Karl Rove’s jaw dropped. I watched him as the votes kept on coming for President Obama in Ohio. Here is his meltdown.

A few weeks before Election Day, Anonymous, a hacktivist group, issued a video statement warning Rove that he was being watched. Two days after Election Day, Anonymous released a press statement claiming that it prevented Rove’s attempt to steal the 2012 election for Romney.

 “We began following the digital traffic of one Karl Rove…After a rather short time, we identified the digital structure of Karl’s operation and even that of his ORCA. This was an easy task in that barn doors were left open and the wind swept us inside.”

“ORCA” was a Romney’s high-tech get-out-the-vote system to keep tabs on potential voters and to target who hadn’t voted yet on Election Day. Anonymous claimed that ORCA’s purpose was to rig the vote and that the group blocked Rove’s access to “digital tunnels” for vote changing.

Election Day is one year from tomorrow. The United States is the only major democracy that allows private partisan corporations to secretly count and tabulate the votes with proprietary non-transparent software. As of now computers are no better than they were when Ohio gave George W. Bush the presidency in 2004, and Karl Rove was positive that the state would put Mitt Romney into the presidency in 2012. Matt Bevin won governor in Kentucky by a tidy margin despite polls indicating either a Democratic win or a very tight margin. How many elections in the United States have been decided by those in power who are willing to electronically steal elections for their own benefit? We won’t know because the government refuses to provide the same security that computers in banks and large corporations require. Will computer hackers decide the presidency of the United States in 2016?

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